A whole raccoon family was down there!
And they couldn't get out. One kept trying to get out of a small hole; I worried about him because the hole had very jagged edges. Another one tried to scramble up the side; nothing worked.
We took the dogs back to our RV and Randy put some tools in a golf cart, planning to pry open the dumpster's side door. I wondered if the raccoons would still be there when we got back, but of course they were. And getting kind of scared. We don't know when they got into the dumpster, but it was probably in the night. They all looked close to the same size but one was a little bigger than the rest, and the other three kept coming over to her and hugging her or standing behind her; that was their mama.
Randy made his way down to the dumpster side and worked at getting the side door open. But it hasn't been open in a very long time, and a lot of stuff has been banged against it (the dumpster is used for metal and construction materials, as well as garbage). In spite of everything he did, the door wouldn't open. It made a lot of noise, though.
Mama raccoon took this as a threat. She placed herself in front of her big cubs, staring intently at the direction of the noise. The cubs fidgeted and chattered nervously behind her, but she didn't blink, she didn't move, she focused entirely on that noise, ready to do battle with whatever was making it.But since the door didn't open, we needed another plan. There is always scrap stuff around here, so we found a piece of wood big enough to serve as a ladder and took it over to the dumpster.
Randy maneuvered it into position. It was long enough to reach from the bottom to the top of the dumpster at a climbable angle. The little critters watched him the whole time.
Then we got in the golf cart and drove far enough away for them to feel safe, hoping they would quickly explore this new thing. As it got later in the day more people would be coming over, and the raccoons would not climb out while people were there. Fortunately, within a few minutes one raccoon's head showed as it climbed up the wood and out of the dumpster. After that, the other three came out fairly quickly. We went back to haul the big piece of wood out of the dumpster and put it back where we got it, and all four raccoons were nowhere to be found. Hopefully they learned to leave this alone!So our day started great, and it ended great, too. We had already made arrangements to meet with the gang for dinner tonight - Randy was making a Low Country Boil, with potatoes, corn on the cob, Polish sausage, mussels, shrimp and crab legs. We cooked and served the dinner over at Ashley's again. While dinner was cooking, we saw something amazing in the sky. Couldn't tell exactly what it was, but it looked like a blue comet. Later I read that a Navy Spokesman said it was an "unarmed Trident missile that was test-fired from a submarine off the coast of Southern California". No wonder conspiracy theorists have such a following, everything the officials say sounds like a script. It sure was moving slow, for a Trident missile.
It didn't matter what it was overhead, we settled down to a great meal. Everything was excellent; nothing was overcooked (which is the bane of seafood) and it was seasoned perfectly. Randy usually tastes a little bit while he is cooking, to be sure everything is just right. This time, with seafood, there was no tasting. So when the gang started pouring aperitifs (scotch, whiskey), he was starting on an empty stomach. After that, he didn't feel like eating much. But the rest of us made up for him!